Skip to main content

Jeff Cobb says creative freedom is more important than money or he would have signed with WWE

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Jeff Cobb appeared on this week's "Wrestling Perspective" Podcast to talk about his career with Lucha Underground, his match in AEW, and realizing WWE isn't for him.

Cobb talking about wearing a mask as Matanza in Lucha Underground:

"When I was doing that mask thing, it was rough because I've never worn a mask before," Cobb said. "It was so strange, because with wrestling, people want to see your emotions on your face."

"The fact that I couldn't see as well I can't look at an audience member, it’s a different character. So it was hard at first. It was definitely a learning thing."

"Guys like Konnan and Vampiro definitely helped me out. Then when we brought Ray Mysterio on board and he definitely helped me with that as well. Pretty much 99% of his career, he was wrestling with a mask, so he gave me a lot of tips and pointers about how to do an emotion even if you're in a mask."

He continued, "Everything was a lot of on the job learning."

Cobb on working one match in AEW:

"It was 2020. I was actually a free agent," he said. "My Ring of Honor contract ran out January 1st."

"I couldn't really come to a new agreement, so I kind of just went my own way, but my heart was I wanted to sign New Japan. That's the route I wanted and I was going to take. They weren't doing any contracts at the time until I want to say March. So I had a good two, three month run as a free agent, which is weird. But it's not weird, because like, I mean, I came from the Indies, so pretty much I was a free agent then."

"Then the AEW thing kind of came on board. Originally, I think I was talking to Cody when he was there. He wanted to do something short term, like maybe 10 shows or something which is fine. They were still kind of finding their legs to their company and what not. But they were doing great stuff. So I was like, 'Yeah, I'm all aboard. A lot of your guys I've known for a long time. So it's not like I'm coming into like a foreign territory'. I mean, who doesn't want to wrestle Jon Moxley on national TV? They said, 'Do you want to come in for these things, and then after that, we'll bring you back for like, April, May and June?' I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it.' Unfortunately, the pandemic hit, and then those things came to fruition."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Cobb on when he realized WWE is not for him:

"I think it was around my right after my first tour of Japan where I was like, 'You know what? Maybe WWE isn't for me', which is weird because the 30-plus years prior was all about, 'Oh, well, I need to go to WWE or WWF.'"

"I'm not knocking it and I definitely have a lot of friends that are there now and more power to them. I will not knock them for anything. There's so many people that just knock WWE for everything. I'm not one of those guys. Why would I knock something that's providing for a lot of people that I know personally? But I just feel like for me, it's just not for me."

"I asked this to a bunch of people in the last year or two, 'Is my career defined if I don't go to WWE? Is it a failed career?' A lot of the feedback I got from people that have worked for WWE were saying no. They've been telling me that your career isn't less valued if you don't go there. There's been a lot of amazing people that haven't gone to WWE that are amazing Hall of Fame level wrestlers in the world."

"Jushin Thunder Liger wrestled one match for WWE. Does his career mean less? No, he just chose not to go there. So I kind of feel like the same would be for me."

"Money's not the end all be all for me, thank goodness. I've been very fortunate to where I can make a great living, and not have to be there and still kind of do what I want. I wouldn't give up my time for money. I mean, again, ask me tomorrow and I might change your mind (he laughs). But no, I'm very happy where I'm at. I definitely made the right choice not going there."

Cobb on whether money or creative freedom is more important for him in wrestling:

"Definitely the creative freedom," he said adamantly.

"I don't want to get too much into detail, but if I wanted to just chase it for the money, I would have signed with WWE last year. But I chose not to because money's not the end all be all for myself."

"That’s not where I'm at in my life right now. Now, when I had my first tryout in 2014, if they gave me a contract, I probably would have signed it back then just because I was at a different point in my career and a different point in my life. Fast forward eight years later, I'm happy I didn't go there."

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit "‎Wrestling Perspective Podcast with Jason Powell" with a h/t to for the transcription.